Find Out Why Dogs Tilt Their Heads
Dogs are adorable. And their endearing traits make them irresistible. One such trait is the head tilt. It is heartwarming and ‘aww’ inspiring. Every time a dog cocks its head to the side with curious eyes, our hearts flood with nothing but love. All you want to do is lift that doggie and squeeze it within your arms. But why do dogs tilt their heads?
Even scientists are still not sure what exactly triggers a dog to tilt its head so innocently. However, there are a few theories on why dogs tilt their heads. Let’s explore the possible reasons for this dog body language further in this article.
Your dog is listening to you attentively
A small study conducted in 2021 discovers that dogs generally tilt their heads in response to terms they understand well. During this research study, dogs were asked to fetch specific toys from another room. Dogs who brought the right toys tilted their heads on listening to the command. To put it simply, dogs tilted their head while paying attention to the command. A dog’s head tilt is like a human’s nod.
Your dog is trying to locate the sound
Thanks to a dog’s anatomy, hearing can be a tad difficult for it. Hearing can be especially challenging for breeds like Bracco Italiano, Irish Setter, Dachshund, etc. Wondering why? They have floppy ears that cover the ear canal. Such dog breeds can open one of their ear flaps by tilting their heads on one side to hear more clearly.
Your dog is trying to see better
The size of a dog’s muzzle can make or break its vision. A longer muzzle can block a dog’s vision. Hence, certain canines tilt their head for a clear vision. Dog breeds like Borzoi, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Poodle, and other dogs with longer snouts are more likely to tilt their heads to get a better view of what is before them.
Your dog is seeking attention
If you have a bright smile on your face every time your dog tilts its head, you might have reinforced this behavior without realizing it. Your positive and loving reaction to the head tilt might encourage your Fido to do it more often. Your pet might tilt its head just to get more attention and praise. At times, it might repeat this mysterious behavior just to see you smile from your heart again. That’s how affectionate these canines are. There are also many other signs your dog loves you!
Your dog is suffering from an underlying medical issue
As endearing as it may look, sometimes, head tilts can be a cause for concern. It can be a sign of an underlying health issue such as vestibular disease. Since the vestibular system is responsible for spatial awareness and balance in dogs, the aforesaid disease can make your pooch look disoriented. A dog with a vestibular disease might tilt its head to regain balance. Ear infections, a brain tumor, and head injury can disrupt your dog’s vestibular system. Hence, if you notice that your dog’s head tilt is involuntary, get it examined by a vet.
Frequently asked questions
Why does my dog tilt her head to the left?
There could be multiple reasons why dogs tilt their head. Listening to your commands, clear vision, locating a sound, and seeking attention are some possible triggers. However, if you notice that your pet is tilting its head involuntarily, you should take it to the vet immediately. This behavior could be a result of some underlying health problem.
Why do dogs tilt their heads when you whistle?
Dogs with heavy ear flaps tilt their head for maximum sound collection because floppy ears cover their ear canals. So, if you see that a dog tilts its head every time you whistle, it is probably trying to listen to the sound clearly.
Are dogs that tilt their head smarter?
While the reason behind dogs tilting their head is still not discovered, there are certain theories around it. In fact, one research study suggests that if a dog tilts its head while listening to some commands, it is smart and attentive. Basically, dogs that understand words are more likely to tilt their heads while receiving a command.